So just how valuable is the Batman brand to Warner Bros.? As early as last spring, with the studio seeing the the current iteration of the series coming to an end with "The Dark Knight Rises," they were already beginning to talk reboot. “We have the third Batman, but then we’ll have to reinvent Batman,” Warner Bros. chief Jeff Robinov said in March 2011. Asked if he meant a reboot, he said: “I do. Chris Nolan and [producing partner and wife] Emma Thomas will be producing it, so it will be a conversation with them about what the next phase is.” But, not so fast on Nolan's participation…
With the director talking to press over the weekend for "The Dark Knight Rises," he revealed that he has finished with his involvement with Batman and has no plans to take part in the franchise moving forward, in any capacity. “No, none at all. We’re finished with all we’re doing with Batman. This is the end of our take on this character,” he told EW when asked about future Bat-plans, also denying reports he will be involved in any reboots. “Batman will outlive us all, and our interpretation was ours. Obviously, we consider it definitive and kind of finished. The great thing about Batman is he lives on for future generations to reinterpret, and obviously, Warners will have to decide in the future what they’re going to do with him. We’ve had our say on the character…"
Frankly, we're kind of glad. Nolan's imprint on the character is so defined that, creatively, it's probably better for the franchise to be guided by someone else who can bring a whole new vision of Gotham to the screen. And as for Nolan, after spending seven-plus years with the bat, he's likely eager to move on to different things entirely. But what about "Justice League"? Turns out any rumor associating Nolan with that project is just that…rumor.
“I’ve got no plans to do anything more, and certainly, no involvement with any Justice League project,” he said, attributing whispers about his participation to his involvement in producing Zack Snyder's "Man Of Steel." So is Warner Bros. in trouble?
Not really. Nolan brought his own stamp to the comic world and did it quite well, and it will probably be in the studio's best interest to try a new creative force to bring to life their remaining DC Comics properties. That said, with "The Dark Knight Rises" poised to equal the $1 billion worldwide haul of "The Dark Knight," and likely surpass it as well, we're sure studio execs will keep ringing on Nolan's doorbell (he famously doesn't use a cellphone or email). Perhaps they can sway him with a development deal (Nolan takes each movie on a project-by-project basis, and isn't tied down a single studio, though he obviously has a strong relationship with WB) to get some of his pet projects off the ground. Or perhaps Nolan will realize he does have another story to tell…though far more likely, he really truly is done and finished with Bruce Wayne.
Can Batman live on without Christopher Nolan? Who would you like to see drive the reboot when that inevitably happens? Sound off in the comments.